The Business of Leadership

The place has gone sport mad suddenly, if it isn’t the World Cup, it’s the Cricket, Rugby or Gaelic at the minute. As spectators we probably don’t fully appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes to lead these teams to victory.  Leading sports teams is not unlike leading a business – you have targets, people to motivate and you must think on your feet when things go wrong. Here are some top leadership tips to ensure you and your team rack up the scores!

Lead by example! Leaders need to show, not just tell. As a leader, you are visible and an inspiration for others. Stepping up and demonstrating why you hold the esteemed title of leader every day is essential, especially when making game-time decisions.

Set the tone and your employees will follow it.

A little humility goes a long way. There’s a difference between a leader and a boss. While both are in charge, a leader shares the spotlight and is comfortable crediting others. Your employees will appreciate it, and your customers will too.

Communicate effectively. Great leaders make sure they are heard and understood, but they also know the importance of listening. Communication is a two-way street and making the most of it will have your company scoring goals regularly.

Know your limits! Even the kindest, most caring leader has limits. Set your boundaries and stick to them. Knowing what you will not tolerate can save everyone in the office a lot of frustration and keeping boundaries clear means there’s no confusion.

Find a mentor. No man is an island, as they say. The best leaders out there know when they need help, and they know where to turn to in order to get it. Nobody can know everything, so finding someone you trust for advice when things get tough can make all of the difference.

Learn from the past. History, recent and otherwise, is filled with examples of successful business models and spectacular business failures. Think about what the people you admire do well and consider what went wrong for those who didn’t enjoy the same success.

Most importantly, never stop improving. Great leaders – like great sportspeople, - are constantly learning and always trying to improve themselves. There’s always something that you can work on or a new skill to master. Be sure to always keep your mind open to new ideas and possibilities.

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